There is some good advice in this article on networking at events and conferences - the need to initiate contact, how to present yourself, interactions that draw people out, how to remember what they said, etc. One thing I believe is missing from the advice: be clear about why you are networking. What do you hope to accomplish? Are you seeking potential collaborators for research? Are you looking to get hired as a contractor? Are you trying to learn what certain developers were thinking? Are you trying to promote an idea or concept? This is important, because it should also set yourself in a frame where you are considering what they want to accomplish, and how you can best serve that need. This means more listening than talking, usually, to understand where you can help, where you can add value, where you can offer a tangible benefit.
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